In a “media blitz” that launched the day after Super Bowl Sunday, the brand uses humor in a pre-roll video to position its crunchy, low-carb, 100% natural cheese crisps as a better-for-you snack that consumers do not need to feel guilty about eating.
In the initial 15 second video, a woman munching on Whisps tells viewers that since she has found the brand she has had to find other things to feel guilty about, “like the truth about the goldfish.” The video cuts to an image of the woman in a robe looking at the horizon with an empty goldfish bowl. When the image shifts back to her sitting on the couch she simply shrugs her shoulders and chomps into a Whisp.
“The inspiration for the ads is centered around this idea that there are all kinds of things that we do that we might feel a little guilty about, but you shouldn’t. And normally snacking is one of those types of things where people feel guilty because they enjoyed the snacks and wonder, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have eat that?’ Especially if they are on a diet that requires them to limit their carb intake,” said Jim Low, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Whisps’ maker Schuman Cheese.
Low explains that just like people don’t need to feel guilty about disposing of the remains of a deceased pet goldfish, snackers don’t need to feel guilty about eating Whisps because there is only one carb per serving and “it still delivers that satisfying crunch.”
He adds that the combination of low-carb and crunch is “a bundle of benefits that isn’t one that is commonly found in the world, so we want to make sure people know that if you are looking for an actual cheese snack with a great savory crunch, we have the product for you.”
The video is complemented by a variety of different social media posts on different sites, including Instagram and Twitter promoted posts, that continue the theme of instances where people might feel guilty, but don’t need to, such as working from home on a snow day and snacking on Whisps off camera during a video call.
Expanding Whisps’ appeal
Whisps are targeted at women between 25 and 54 who are trying to eat healthy, paying attention to nutrition and a “little bit of a culinary mindset, so she can appreciate something that is 100% cheese and differentiate it from contenders who pretend to be a cheese snack but have other ingredients in it,” Low said.
While this is a wide target, he adds that previous marketing efforts have focused on a smaller subset of consumers, such as those on the keto or low-carb diet.
“We know that this has a big snack appeal, so we are broadening our reach a bit so people know it is a great snack right out of the bag, which is very complementary to the work we have done in the past,” Low explained.
To make the most impact, the campaigns video ads and marketing efforts online were timed to run during prime snacking occasions, such as immediately following the Super Bowl when many Americans may want a snack, but might feel guilty about all the decadent snacks they consumed during the football game.
Other target times included award season, such as the Grammys and Oscars, when people often come together to snack and watch the events, according to the company.
Going forward, the brand will continue to work with influencers to connect more consumers to the campaign.